With everything from picture-perfect Cotswold villages to breath-taking natural beauty, Gloucestershire is absolutely gorgeous – and there’s nothing we love more than sharing snaps of our beautiful home county on our Instagram feed.
In this hot list, SoGlos rounds up 12 of the most Instagrammable places in the county – with plenty from SoGlos’s Gloucestershire Bucket List to tick off, too.
From its world-famous cloisters to one of the biggest stained-glass windows in the world, there are so many spectacular things to see and snap at Gloucester Cathedral.
Follow in the footsteps of Harry, Ron and Hermione to get a selfie at one of the Harry Potter filming locations; take in the dramatic architecture, from admiring the cathedral’s signature Perpendicular Gothic style to looking out for traditional Mason’s Marks; stare up towards the heavens to see the spectacular ceiling above the Quire; or take a trip to the top of the Tower for unbeatable views across the county.
Symonds Yat Rock
Follow one of the waymarked walking routes to Symonds Yat Rock to enjoy being immersed in the luscious woodlands of the Forest of Dean; cross the iconic Biblins Bridge, stopping for a selfie on the way; and prepare to be blown away by the view from the top, where you can look down on the meandering River Wye far below.
During spring and summer, the forest is awash with verdant greens, but for a real treat, head out during autumn, when the leaves are ablaze with reds, oranges, yellows and golds.
Arlington Row in Bibury
With William Morris calling it ‘the most beautiful village in England’, Bibury is one of the Cotswolds’ most recognisable – and Instagrammable – locations.
The iconic 17th century weavers’ cottages at Arlington Row are the star attraction, with their signature honey-coloured Cotswold Stone walls and the River Coln flowing nearby. Wildlife fans won’t want to miss trying to spot some of the resident dragonflies, kingfishers, robins and water voles at the Rack Isle Nature Reserve while in Bibury, too.
Pittville Pump Room in Cheltenham
The picturesque Pittville Pump Room, complete with its iconic green copper dome, is a beautiful example of Regency architecture – and one of Cheltenham’s most famous sights. Visitors can pose for pictures around its imposing the colonnade, sample the medicinal spa waters from the fountain inside; and even enjoy live music concerts at the spectacular venue.
Standing within the grounds of Pittville Park with its ornamental lake, manicured lawn and beautiful ancient trees, Instagrammers will love capturing the beautiful building from all angles – as well as enjoying a picnic in the park, or a drink in the Heritage Deco Café next door to the Pump Room.
Purton Ships Graveyard
Dubbed one of the UK’s most unusual museums, Purton Ships Graveyard near Berkeley is a truly unique sight to see.
Take a leisurely walk along the banks of the River Severn to explore the remains of 86 beached boats, with some dating back as far as the 1900s – taking some fantastic pictures along the way.
From blushing pink magnolias to blazing red acers – not to mention some of the rarest trees on the planet – Westonbirt Arboretum offers nature lovers a picture-perfect background for their Instagram photos.
With 2,500 different species and five national tree collections, there’s plenty to admire – while the STIHL Treetop Walkway gives visitors a unique opportunity to go 13 metres up into the tree canopy to admire even the tallest trees up-close.
Gloucester’s historic docks are both fascinating and picturesque, with Victorian warehouses, beautiful barges and the unique Mariners Chapel all providing fantastic photo opportunities.
The docks really come alive at the biennial Gloucester Tall Ships Festival too, with the sky-grazing masts of the historic tall ships transforming the skyline of the city – with plenty of entertainment to enjoy from sea shanty performances to a pirate walk.
Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean
Puzzlewood is a unique woodland nestled in the heart of the Forest of Dean, characterised by its twisted trees and unique rock formations called scowles. The woodland takes on an incredible array of colours throughout the year too, with lush green mosses, swathes of bluebells in spring and earthy brown mushrooms in autumn.
It’s another one of Gloucestershire’s famous filming locations, with Star Wars fans able to see where parts of The Force Awakens was filmed; fairy-spotters can hunt for doorways in the trees; while wildlife-lovers can look out for the resident badgers, foxes, rabbits, deer and even bats.
St Edwards Church in Stow-on-the-Wold
Literature lovers won’t want to miss snapping a selfie in front of the doors that inspired J.R.R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings – with the north door of St Edwards Church in Stow-on-the-Wold said to be the inspiration for the Doors of Durin.
The famous wooden doorway is framed by two ancient yew trees and has been named one of the UK’s most influential doors alongside Downing Street and the Bank of England, so even if the Tolkein reference is lost on you, it’s still well worth a visit.
Painswick Rococo Garden
As the only complete surviving rococo garden in the country, Painswick Rococo Garden offers a unique experience for history-lovers, horticulture fans and anyone hoping to capture some gorgeous photos.
With carpets of snowdrops in the winter, swathes of daffodils in the spring, fragrant heritage roses in the summer and brightly coloured Japanese maples in the autumn – not to mention quirky follies to explore all year round – there are plenty of photo opportunities whenever you visit. Painswick Rococo Garden provides a super-Instagrammable backdrop for wedding photos, too, with the venue being licensed for marriages.
Known as the Venice of the Cotswolds for the way the River Windrush gently flows through the town, Bourton-on-the-Water is an Instagram hotspot – and for good reason!
Strike a pose on one of its many pretty bridges over the river; grab some snaps of the chocolate-box Cotswold stone cottages; and stop off for traditional afternoon tea – or scrumptious ice cream on warmer days.
Cotswolds flower fields
The Cotswolds boasts not one, but three spectacular flower fields that burst into bloom each summer – providing perfect photo opportunities for visitors. Cotswold Farm Park in Guiting Power has a rainbow of wildflowers which start blooming from July each year, while it’s hugely popular sunflower field is due to open in August.
Just across the Gloucestershire border, Cotswold Lavender near Broadway could easily be mistaken for the fields of Provence, with luscious lavender as far as the eye can see; while the colourful Confetti Field in Wick is one of the prettiest sights of the summer when its fields of delphinium and wildflowers are in full bloom.